Friday, October 06, 2017

Fri-Yay: The 2017-2018 New Sitcoms Slate; Freeform Sets Cast for Sitcom Pilot

It's time for another edition of Fri-Yay! That means we will take a look back on some sitcom happenings in recent days or weeks or other fun sitcomy stuff. It's a sitcom lover's paradise! Happy Fri-Yay!

NBC CBS Fox ABC

by Vincent

So what's the state of this year's freshman class of sitcoms? Now that we're nearing mid-October, we've seen pretty much all of the sitcoms that will be premiering this fall. Each network has premiered at least one new sitcom (okay, in the case of NBC they technically haven't since Will & Grace is really a returning series), so let's go for a network-by-network breakdown of "the state of the sitcoms." Frankly, it's a bit of a light year for new sitcoms, so we'll also be looking at each network's overall network slate when evaluating their new shows.

CBS: CBS premiered the most new sitcoms this fall, with three newbies - two of which are currently airing on Monday nights (9JKL and Me, Myself and I) and one of which had a "special preview" and will be airing in its regular timeslot starting in November (Young Sheldon). CBS has a lot of new sitcoms this fall, but none are particularly great, at least not yet. 9JKL feels like an unnecessary Everybody Loves Raymond rehash, Me, Myself and I has potential but still needs to work out its off-beat premise, and Young Sheldon has flashes of ambition but also feels too much like a cash grab spin-off. Still, it's nice that CBS is trying and experimenting. Me, Myself and I has a more interesting premise than your average CBS sitcom, and Young Sheldon sees the show playing with a single-camera Wonder Years-esque format (even if, again, it's a bit of a cash grab.) Much like its returning comedies (with the exception of the genuinely very good Mom), CBS's new sitcoms are essentially fine, if nothing to write home about.

ABC - ABC has had the most consistently solid sitcom line-up of the past 6 or 7 years, with a solid stable of family comedies that hit with critics and audiences alike. The Mayor is the only new ABC comedy this fall, and although it's not a family comedy, it still has the trademark ABC mix of humor, heart, and subtle social commentary. Along with excellent returning sitcoms like black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat, The Middle, and Speechless along with old favorite Modern Family, ABC has once again put together a masterclass comedy line-up that all of the other networks can only hope for.

NBC - NBC's sitcom slate was in disarray for many years, falling hard from the heights of the days when they aired beloved shows like Seinfeld, Cheers, Friends, The Office, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, etc. However, in the past few years, NBC's comedy line-up has risen from the ashes a bit. Starting with the dearly departed The Carmichael Show and continuing with the consistently charming Superstore, the mind-blowing heights of The Good Place, and the highly promising Great News, NBC has put together a solid comedy line-up. Now with a hyped anchor in the Will & Grace revival, NBC has a shot at rivaling ABC for being the network source for top-notch comedy.

FOX - FOX's only new comedy this fall is Ghosted, which is an intriguing high-concept show with two very capable lead actors (Adam Scott and Craig Robinson) but doesn't quite feel all there yet. Still, with a solid stable of recurring comedies in The Mick, The Last Man on Earth, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine and its always reliable animated slate (featuring the always wonderful Bob's Burgers and long-running staples The Simpsons and Family Guy), it's not hard to think Ghosted will eventually live up to its cast and premise.

So, overall, despite a somewhat weak showing this fall, the networks have a solid enough stable of recurring comedies that they're in pretty good shape going into the 2017 - 2018 TV season. Hopefully some of the newbies live up to their potential, and the networks' sitcom stables could grow even more impressively.


Freeform

Freeform, Disney's young adult television and streaming network, reveals cast for new comedy pilot, Now & Then. The pilot is a single-camera comedy about a group of old college friends who, after having lost touch over the years, are brought back together unexpectedly for one wild night. Reuniting as friends gives them a new lease on life and the opportunity to discover who they always promised each other they would be. The pilot is written by Shawn Wines who will also serve as executive producer, along with executive producers Aaron Kaplan and Dana Honor.

Myko Olivier (Menendez: Blood Brothers) stars as Nick, who was destined for greatness in college but has been lying to his friends for years about his success. Mia Serafino (Crowded) plays Emily, Nick's best friend who dreamed of becoming a singer but ended up a disenchanted real estate agent. Punam Patel (Return of the Mac, Kevin From Work) portrays Sarah, a witty and sarcastic science major turned researcher, who is bored with her mundane life, but reuniting with her old pals just may re-invigorate her and send her on a different path. Brandon Mychal Smith (You're the Worst, Sweet/Vicious) will star as EZ, the wild man in the group of college friends, but years later, is a house husband whose life is totally consumed by his infant daughter. James Earl (Scream Queens) will portray Moose, the "lovable idiot" of the group. Years later, Moose is divorced and living a bleak life, but reuniting with his old pals may be the springboard he needs to make some changes. Rounding out the cast is Ana Cruz Kayne (The Bold Type) who plays Jane, a confident and charming coed, and Moose's college partner in crime. Jane is now a successful lawyer but has put her dating life and real-life goals on the backburner.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Monday, May 27

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Awkward Conversations" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Marty and Courtney are navigating the pregnancy news and what it all means for their future, while Malcolm is dealing with his own workplace relationship.

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Other Butlers" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Calvin and Tina are looking to remodel their home when they uncover discriminatory processes with their bank’s appraiser. Meanwhile, Marty asks Trey for fatherly advice on co-parenting with Courtney.

M*A*S*H: The Comedy That Changed Television

M*A*S*H: The Comedy That Changed Television (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
In the two-hour special, M*A*S*H: The Comedy That Changed Television, join the men and women who made M*A*S*H as they celebrate one of the most beloved, enduringly popular, often quoted and influential comedies ever created. As the definitive look at the 14-time Emmy-winning television classic, the special centers around new interviews with original cast members Alan Alda (Capt. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce), Gary Burghoff (Cpl. Walter "Radar" O'Reilly), William Christopher (Father Francis Mulcahy), Jamie Farr (Cpl./Sgt. Maxwell Q. "Max" Klinger), Mike Farrell (Capt. B.J. Hunnicutt), Wayne Rogers (Capt. "Trapper" John McIntyre) and Loretta Swit (Maj. Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan) and series executive producers Gene Reynolds and Burt Metcalfe. In these intimate, highly personal remembrances, the creation and evolution of the show's iconic characters are revealed, alongside rare and never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage, photos and stories.

Writer/producer Larry Gelbart, as well as additional series stars Larry Linville (Maj. Frank Burns), Harry Morgan (Col. Sherman T. Potter), McLean Stevenson (Lt. Col. Henry Blake) and David Ogden Stiers (Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III) are remembered through a vibrant collection of clips from the series as well as in rarely-seen archival interviews. With unique experiences, observations and memories from 11 seasons of M*A*S*H, this special will make audiences laugh, touch their heartstrings, and leave them on a nostalgic high while celebrating the sustained brilliance of the iconic sitcom.

The M*A*S*H two-and-a-half-hour series finale that first aired on CBS in 1983 remains the highest rated telecast in television history, delivering an incredible 77 audience share and 60.2 rating. To-date, the show has never left the air, continuously running in syndication, on basic cable and now streaming on Hulu. The series was produced by 20th Television. M*A*S*H: The Comedy That Changed Television is directed by John Scheinfeld (Reinventing Elvis: The '68 Comeback, The U.S. vs. John Lennon and What The Hell Happened To Blood, Sweat & Tears?) with Scheinfeld and Andy Kaplan as Executive Producers. Viewers can watch M*A*S*H: The Comedy That Changed Television next day on Hulu, Fox.com, On Demand and FOX Entertainment's streaming platform, Tubi. On Demand is available for customers of Cox Contour TV, DIRECTV, DISH, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, Optimum, Spectrum, Verizon FiOS, XFINITY, YouTube TV and many more.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 27)

Monday, May 27

  • Carol Burnett (Palm Royale/Mad About You/Mama's Family) - Watch Carol on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jon Glaser (Girls/Parks and Recreation) - Jon is a guest on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Harry Hamlin (Movie Stars) - Harry sits down with Kelly and Mark to chat about his new series In the Kitchen With Harry Hamlin on Live with Kelly and Mark, so check your listings.
  • J.B. Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm/Blockbuster/The Millers/Bent/'Til Death) - J.B. talks about Curb Your Enthusiasm on Live with Kelly and Mark, so check your listings.
  • Bobby Cannavale (Angie Tribeca/Will & Grace) - Bobby talks about Ezra on NBC's Today some time between 7-9am.
  • Wendell Pierce (The Odd Couple/The Michael J. Fox Show/The Weber/The Brian Benben Show/The Gregory Hines Show) - Wendell is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Liza Koshy (Liza on Demand) - Liza appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.


New on DVD/Blu-ray

Father Knows Best - The Complete Series Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series Check It Out! - The Complete Series

12/05 - Father Knows Best - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/12 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series
12/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 2 (Blu-ray)
12/12 - That Girl - The Complete Series
12/15 - Letterkenny - Season 11
12/19 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series
12/22 - Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection (includes The Ropers and Three's a Crowd)
01/09 - South Park - Seasons 11-15 (Blu-ray)
01/16 - Ghosts (UK) - Season Five
02/13 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/27 - The Really Loud House - Season One
03/12 - Ghosts (UK) - The Complete Series
03/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 3 (Blu-ray)
03/12 - Rick and Morty - Season 7 (Blu-ray Steelbook) (Blu-ray) (DVD)
04/03 - Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series (VEI)
04/08 - Check It Out! - The Complete Series (VEI)
05/21 - Frasier (2023) - Season One

The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) That Girl - The Complete Series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series

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